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Winner’s

This tag is associated with 4 posts

In Those Jeans or How Ottawa Plus-Size Shopping Sucks

Got a phone call from Jody at Slimband yesterday to arrange my ‘next appointment’. I’ve had some food and fill related chats but other than that, it’s the first time I’ve heard from them regarding healing and surgical followup since Day 5 post-op. Haven’t had a chance to ring them back yet but suspect it’s going to be a 3-month followup appointment at their offices in TO.

bluesfestNormally I’d be super excited at the thought of returning to Slimband’s clinic and spending some fun time in TO but I’m more than a little busy in the next couple of weeks what with potential job ops (YAY!) and family fun time.

To top it all off, it’s Bluesfest here in the Capital and I’d rather spend my time tearin’ it up there than driving to Canada’s Big Smoke. It is indeed a rare occasion for THAT occurrence!

In other news, if there’s one thing for sure about my journey from the fatness to the fitness, it’s that there’s a lot to think about. Sometimes it feels like the one thing I know for sure is that having a lap-band is going to get me to my goal this time and I will indeed be healthier within 12 months. And other times it feels like that’s the escapist fantasy of convicted food offender.

Sometimes this blog reflects that very sentiment but most times, I try to focus on the positive parts to keep me motivated. When that happens I mostly think about what my life will be like when I get to my goal. I keep hearing about all the wonderful things in store for me and all the endless possibilities for my future. So, I dare to dream more often than not. But it certainly is a challenge to keep my head in the clouds.

This is especially true when I accompany my aunt (henceforth referred to as The Wallet) on her shopping expeditions on an almost daily basis. Not only does the woman have a whopper of a wallet, she also wears a size 10. She’s not a trendster but she’s glamourous and fairly fashionable so I frequently envy her purchasing power. But I wouldn’t buy what she buys even if I could…she’s 58!

Although this is yet another example of how my London life has spoiled me, I dream of one day dropping my dough on my very own perfect pair of designer jeans. I can certainly find them here in a smaller size because Ottawa’s skinny shopping is pretty sweet. But I couldn’t find a fabulous pair of plus size jeans in this town if my life depended on it! Let alone something suitably glunge for me to kick it in da’ club.

boom boom jeansEven plus size retailers here in the Capital can’t believe I would ever disagree that their duds are just that. Some of them actually believe in the stereotype that plus size women want to hide their hides. I’m not a big chick that likes to regularly rock the bodycon (I’d certainly wear the sexiness pictured here though!) but I do like my clothes to cling to my curves and they just don’t do it in Canadian plus-size fashions. Seriously, if I could draw I’d design the best damn denim for babes with a booty this country’s ever seen.

In the meantime, I found a pair of skinny/straight leg jeans while with The Wallet at Winner’s this week. They’re from Boom Boom Jeans! and I just love them! They’re actually tight on my calves and they hug my bum just so. I love them so much I’m thinking I might get another pair! Gotta go back to Winner’s though cause I can’t get ’em anywhere else in Canada right now. Figures!

Can I Kick It? or What’s the Skinny of Bandster Friendly Serving Sizes

I’ve been super busy lately and I realised I hadn’t posted about my ‘Nutrition Kickstart‘ with Slimband’s resident dietician Arlene. This was an essential discussion regarding my progress from mushies to solid food.

Nutrition

Granted, it was some time ago (8 days to be exact), it’s important to me to document my journey as best as I can. I scheduled my chat with Arlene for just after mid-day in the hopes that if I was finally working again, I’d be able to chat with her over lunch.

Well, it was indeed lunch time but since I’m not yet working, I was running around town with my family (AKA The Team). Unfortunately, they decided on our way to Winner’s that a basket fried flesh from Wild Wings would be a suitable eating place for a recently-banded bambina. Imagine my shame when I saw Slimband’s number show up on my phone just after I placed my order…

The chat was scheduled for 30 minutes and since I’d been warned by members of the MySlimband community to come prepared with specific questions for Arlene, it went quite well.

I started off by telling her I was feeling quite fine. Almost back to normal, in fact. I am able to eat nearly all things I’d been able to eat before my surgery. I was slightly concerned but she was very happy to hear it. She assured me that this was okay and that I need not live in constant fear of band slippage as I’ve mentioned before. I’m simply a fast healer and my body is adjusting nicely. Well, that’s GREAT news!!

I also mentioned I’d been reading the Clean Eating Magazine as per her suggestion in MySlimband. As I mentioned before, Arlene promotes the Clean Eating*** principles and often provides bandster-friendly versions of snacks and meals including modified serving suggestions.

Since I’d been following the monthly meal plan in the magazine I was feeling good but also concerned I was eating too much. Despite the well-balanced, low calorie nature of the meal plan, I just couldn’t eat every 2-3 hours without feeling stuffed. So, I mentioned I felt the meal portion sizes were surprisingly large but the snacks were perfect. I was certainly surprised by this as it seemed I was able to eat a bit more than some of my bandster friends at the same stage as me (7 days into solid foods).

She reassured me again and suggested I try to reduce the portion sizes in the Clean Eating meal plan in preparation for my first fill in the coming weeks. As an exampled I’ll use my favourite Clean Eating breakfast:Kashi Go-Lean and Strawberries

Clean Eating breakfast serving suggestion:

1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal

1/2 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 cup skimmed, soy, or almond milk

Arlene’s bandster-friendly serving suggestion:

1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal

1/4 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 cup skimmed, soy, or almond milk

So, it looks like halving the servings is a good start. Simple enough, eh? Arlene also mentioned that bandsters can indeed snack on popcorn…IF they are able to without any trouble BUT we must take it SLOW to ensure we don’t choke. Woo hoo! I love popcorn and it doesn’t have to be drenched in butter for me to enjoy it. So, that’s another healthy snack (about 3 cups) I can enjoy along with all of the other snack suggestions in the Clean Eating meal plan.

I also chatted with Arlene about the prospect of revisiting my Body Doctor fitness regime in the coming weeks. She recommended that if I’m going to be working out that strenuously, I’m going to need to add another meal to the Slimband program of 3 meals and 2 snacks every 2-3 hours and ensure that if I’m exercising in the evenings, that my post-workout meal contains 30g protein and 20g of carbs.

Since Arlene knew I was out and about (but didn’t know WHERE), she sent me a reference sheet with lots of helpful information about serving sizes and tips and tricks for eating out (I did mentioned I do that A LOT in my life). This was a big help.

From what I gather though, the Nutrition Kickstart seemed to be largely a rehearsed ‘personal’ information session that if one comes unprepared, they may or may not come away with much more information than what is written in the Slimband Post-Op Binder.

That being said, I’ve also messaged Arlene several times from within the MySlimband community and she actively participates in the discussion. She’s provided some very useful advice there and here so the combination of the three support systems is really great overall. As usual with the band, they’re providing the tools and it’s really up to me how I use them.

***Loosely speaking, Clean Eating principles are based on eating foods in as natural a state as possible, EVERY 2-3 hours (no exceptions people!!!), some savvy food pairing and ensuring each meal or snack is a perfectly balanced combination of protein and carbohydrates. By following this, carbs are digested in 2-3 hours allowing us to feel fuller longer. Otherwise, carbs are digested immediately making us feel hungry early.

Oh! Oh! It’s Magic!

Hooray for mushies!! Seriously, what a pleasure eating has been today. Started the day with a tasty treat: some instant oatmeal made with skimmed milk.  For lunch/late supper I puréed some of Mom’s chicken stew and although it was pretty good, I’m fairly certain she used chicken stock as the base and right now I’m over chicken stock in a way only my fellow bandsters could understand! It was pretty good though.mushrooms

So, I took it slow while eating both and kept them down with ease. I’m hoping it stays that way. According to my reading materials, physically I should be feeling pretty close to normal by now and that’s a pretty fair assumption.

Food-wise, I’m feeling almost normal. It’s easy to swallow things, the tiny bubble burps have dramatically decreased and the pulling on my esophagus/diaphragm when I yawn (most likely a side effect of the hernia repair) is minimal. I’ve still got the occasional pain in my port site but other than that I’m feeling good.

I also cooked up one of the mushie recipes provided by Slimband’s own creative Chef John. The vegetable soup is a treat. It’s like minted pea soup only A LOT better. Judging by the meal plan I don’t think I’ll get to eat much of it despite the army-sized pot I’ve produced. If I’d known I definitely would have halved the recipe so I stuck some in the freezer.

Went for a wander to Winner’s with my auntie again today and found myself trolling through the handbags, shoes, sunglasses and hats AGAIN. I didn’t even go near the clothing department. Now, this probably makes sense to most people because I’m supposed to be losing weight and any clothes I do buy probably won’t fit me for long, right? Well, that would be true, if I did’t ALWAYS spend my time looking at handbags, shoes, sunglasses and hats.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love me a gorgeous handbag, some fabulous shoes and sexy pair of shades. But I’m fairly certain nobody’s ever wondered why. Well, it might have crossed their minds…but contrary to popular belief, it’s not because I’m secretly a shopaholic bag lady as well as a foodaholic.

I mean, yes, I do spend a lot of money on them. But it’s a whole lot easier to explain than an addiction. It’s simply because shoes and bags will ALWAYS fit. I’ll never try them on, look in the mirror and frown when the fabric hugs my chub a tad too tightly. They’re never smaller than they were the last time I tried them on. And they don’t fall apart the second time I wear them. In fact, when I pick up a classic bag or a timeless pair of shoes, they pretty much go with everything and can last for years.

I don’t mind spending a pretty penny on something I know is going to bring me joy every time I wear it. But that so rarely happens with clothes when one is a larger lady. I seriously can’t wait until the day I have a beautiful bag in one hand and a huge pile of clothes in the other and I can choose the clothes knowing that each and every item in the pile is on-trend, may or may not have been worn by one of my style icons and will only ever fit me perfectly. Oh, what a day it will be!

PS Weighed myself today and I’ve gained 1 lb back on the ‘full liquids’ stage. Total weight lost to date is 11 lbs. I’m told it’s highly likely I will gain most of my losses back before I get my first fill but things seem to be going well so far so we’ll just have to see about that!

Funky Fresh or What to Store Your Healthy Snacks In

Since I was feeling quite refreshed today I thought it was time I went for a wander with my dear Gam and my auntie. We went to the chic and cheerful SAAB Salon & Spa on Ottawa’s Bank street for them to get a quick primp and pamper.

Whilst I was awaiting the completion of a double masterpiece, one of the super stylists was bored and offered to curl my very rushed, recently-washed-but-not-dried hair. I had no other plans so I let her do her thang and hot damn my hair looked fantastic when she was through! And it was free!

The lovely ladies on Frank’s team really do a go above and beyond. We’ve booked a Mother’s Day Girls Day Out for May 8th so I’m really looking forward some de-stressing.  Not that I’m particularly worn-out, just effing tired of looking for a job. Hmph.

We then headed to what some would most certainly consider the Mecca for Canadian frugalistasWinner’s. I never fail to find something fabulous every time I see inside their four white walls. And this time was no exception. I picked up a very pretty pair of the most perfectly portioned plastic containers from Fit & FreshLunch on the go

I chose the Lunch on the Go Set ($7.99 CAD down from $16.99 CAD) and the Fresh Start Breakfast Chiller ($5.99 down from $12.99 CAD). These little gems are going to be a big help with portion control now that I’ve got such a tiny tummy!

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